Thursday, 21 January 2021

Towards an Apple Monarchy

 

UK politicians like to think  we have  a "special relationship" with the US and Prime Minister Johnson was quick to say yesterday that  he is looking forward to working  closely with the new President Biden.

I have have just completed reading Barack Obama's "memoires" of his campaign for and first term  as President (2008 -2012)  The number of references to British and other politicians  is instructive:

Gordon Brown:         

David Cameron:        5

Angela Merkel:        13

Nicolas Sarkozy      15

Dmitri Medvedev:    16

Vladimir Putin:         15

Hu Jintao                   5

To be fair Brown and Cameron shared the British premiership in this period  so taken together (11) they almost equal Mrs Merkel's 13.  On the other hand Merkel's references often run to more than one page, so these extras bring her total to 25. 

(Whereas I had understood that the rescue plan of the world  financial system hammered  out at the G20 summit in 2009 was all Gordon Brown's initiative, according to this  volume the plan was entirely an American idea, though Brown was "on side." and chaired the summit skilfully.

 O wad some Power the giftie gie us 

To see oursels as ithers see us!)

 It's interesting that there are far more references to Russia's leaders than to Hu.  China has increased tremendously in importance in the past decade, and not just because of the corona virus.

I am pleased to note that John Maynard Keynes gets four mentions.  Equally pleasing, on his very first half-day day in office President Biden has proposed a $1.9tr stimulus for the US economy.  Rishi Sunak please note and stop wittering about balancing the UK's.  budget. Now is not the time.

Just to put things in perspective, Obama's younger daughter Sasha gets 45 mentions.

I am not claiming that  this measurement is anything but very crude, but it does signal that preoccupation and consultation with the UK and its leaders does not figure highly in the priorities of US leaders, or at least not this one.

The Brexiteers claim to believe that, freed from the supposed restraints of the EU, the UK will soar back to prominence as an international economic and political power.  I suspect that the reverse will be the case: we shall drift into further irrelevance.  

We cannot be dismissed  as  a Banana Republic becasue we are not competitive growers of bananas and we are a monarchy.  But we do grow lovely apples, and I firmly  believe that Cox's Orange Pippins grown in Britain are the best apples in the world.

So,  an Apple Monarchy.


4 comments:

  1. Whereas I had understood that the rescue plan of the world financial system hammered out at the G20 summit in 2009 was all Gordon Brown's initiative, according to this volume the plan was entirely an American idea, though Brown was "on side." and chaired the summit skilfully.

    American in 'claiming something was an American idea' shock. That's hardly any different from Mr Brown claiming credit. I'm sure that the Germans and French claim they were behind it, too.

    Rishi Sunak please not and stop wittering about balancing the UK's. budget now is not the time.

    Out of interest when is the time? One thing I've noticed about counter-cyclical Keynesians is that they are very keen on increasing spending during recessions, but they all seem to forget about their hero's recommendations when the good times come.

    I am not claiming that this measurement is anything but very crude, but it does signal that preoccupation and consultation with the UK and its leaders does not figure highly in the priorities of US leaders, or at least not this one.

    Or — just possibly — it might signal that Mr Obama was writing for an American audience?

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  2. Touché: there's something in each of your three points. It does us good, though, to see things from other people's perspectives.

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